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An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore, in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth presented data and predictions regarding climate change. It enlightens people about a crisis that affects the whole of humanity, the crisis that is global warming. The facts presented were scary, eye opening, and guilt inciting. Al Gore, using a slideshow presentation showed scientific evidence for global warming and its horrifying consequences should we not reduce our production of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere which is good to keep the planet habitable.

But even good things when they come in excess becomes bad. Our excessive emission of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests has caused a great rise in the Earth’s Temperature. According to Gore,the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence. 1 The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable. We fail to see these changes not because they are not true but because we fail to understand the reasons behind global phenomena.

In fact glaciers have been melting, plants and animals are being forced from their habitat, and the number of severe storms and droughts is increasing. Al Gore presented evidence, based on research and scientific observations. All of which are convincing, all of which for me are real and are happening, we can see them maybe not in our lives but in other people’s lives. We experience them, in the news, in the television and in our own backyard. In the documentary Al Gore discussed the risk of the collapse of a major ice sheet in Greenland or in West Antarctica.

Global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide. This is supported by evidences given by NASA reports. This indeed is alarming; we have experienced a reduction in the amount of sea ice resulting in the rise of sea levels which could lead to a widespread flooding of coastal areas all over the world. Animal life are threatened, more and more polar animals are losing their habitat and are not able to adapt to the change in the environment. Evolution cannot keep up with the rate of climate change.

The possible rise of global sea levels would flood coastal areas and could produce over 100 million refugees. To explain the global warming phenomenon, the film showed results of an examination of annual temperature and CO2 levels for the past 600,000 years in Antarctic ice core samples. And the results are alarming; there is a great degree of variations in actual natural cycles of warming and cooling and CO2 concentrations over hundreds of thousands of years, and how far off the chart the variations we’re seeing today we are off the trend in the rise and fall of temperature and CO2 levels.

This is hard scientific facts that debunk the lip service of oil-company-supported PR “think tanks” about “natural cycles”. There were photos of ancient glaciers that have retreated entirely over the last hundred years, and video of today’s glaciers literally disintegrating before our eyes. The film warns us that if this crisis continues, by 2050 the Arctic Ocean could be ice free and more than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction. Many more evidences were presented. All of which, as Al Gore claims are already known to the government, but the government refuses to act.

It is puzzling for me, how this government can ignore such facts, such warning, and such imminent danger. I wonder what considerations are above the welfare of its citizens that is hindering them to act. For me, it is not all the government, we have a lot to contribute, we have been part of the cause and we should be part of the solution. Global warming is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about protecting both the human environment and the natural environment.

Al Gore used the example of the boiling frog to illustrate that we have the propensity to ignore problems that slowly build up, problems like global warming. He said “put a frog in boiling water, and he’ll hop out, the analogy goes, but put that same frog in cold water and slowly bring the water to a boil, and the frog will sit there and happily let himself be cooked to death. ” We are the frog in his example, let us not wait until the time when we are all dying of skin cancer or drowning in the coast of Florida before we acknowledge this crisis and say Al Gore was right and we are wrong.

The water is already boiling, think Hurricane Katrina. We must act now. Al Gore encourages us to take part . He says that there is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now. Even the smallest lifestyle adjustments taken collectively can add up to significant reductions in global warming.

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